Sign the petition: ask HMRC to end its contract with Bounty
As most of you will know, Mumsnet has been campaigning for the removal of sales reps from maternity wards. The campaign has been building steadily, with some hospital trusts saying that they will review their arrangements with Bounty and many others saying they will keep the situation under close review.
Meanwhile, building on the success of her Bounty Mutiny petition (now with over 26,000 signatures), campaigner Vicky Garner is calling on the government to end its contract with Bounty - it pays sales reps £90,000 a year to hand over child benefit forms which are freely available online.
To quote Vicky's petition text:
'Bounty has become the only paid vehicle for distribution of these important forms. Why? Why not give the forms out when a birth is registered - a surefire way to reach 100% of new parents without the involvement of a commercial enterprise and the blurred boundaries that this seems to have created?
'Child benefit forms and Bounty's role in distributing them has become a hot topic over the past few months of this campaign, as it has emerged that some Bounty reps have been misleading parents about the need to hand over their personal information to the rep, before they can have the form.
'This abuse of the situation Bounty has found itself in, as the main distributor of the form (by a very long shot), needs to stop.'
Justine Roberts, co-founder and CEO of Mumsnet, says: "By paying Bounty a fee for distributing child benefit forms, the HMRC is effectively handing Bounty a bargaining chip it can use to persuade new mums to hand over personal details for Bounty's own commercial gain. Thousands of Mumsnet users have made it clear that the hours after birth on a postnatal ward are neither the time nor place for the hard sell and it's time for the government to stop financially supporting this process."